MasterClass with James Patterson

After urging from several friends, I signed up for MasterClass where James Patterson teaches how to write a bestselling novel. The timing is perfect as I just finished writing my first novel.

Because it was a series of short stories and my second book is my first full length novel, I need all the help I can get. Enter James Patterson, a bestselling author with a track record like no other. But he didn’t start out that way. Every short story he ever submitted got rejected, and his first book was rejected 31 times before being published.

Talk about a ray of hope! A couple of weeks ago a woke up earlier than anyone else in my house — even the dogs. With coffee in hand, I settled in at my desk, fired up the MasterClass webpage and logged in through my Facebook account.

A string quartet kicks off the introductory video, its briskly ushering you into the virtual classroom. It hearkens to the first day of school, when masses funneled into the auditorium doors where they sat en masse to hear the principal talk about goals for the new year.

“Hi. I’m Stephen King.”

This is the first line of James Patterson’s Master Class. Aside from using a different name, it’s the same voice you hear on commercials. Hi. I’m James Patterson. He uses this technique to illustrate the importance of first lines.

James Patterson then segues into what he hopes people will achieve by taking the course. He explains who those people are, and what he can offer to them without wasting a lot of time with unnecessary details. He discusses some of the specific things he’ll discuss in the course, from characters to marketing.

From there James Patterson shares some details about his journey from struggling writer to published author. His driving point is this: you aren’t in this alone. He’s been where you are right now, and even if you don’t get published, then it’s just part of your journey.

Where are you on your journey? Are you a writer? A reader? Something else? I’d love to talk to you about it in the comments area.

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